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A PAIR OF QUEEN ANNE GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
A PAIR OF QUEEN ANNE GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
A PAIR OF QUEEN ANNE GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
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A PAIR OF QUEEN ANNE GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
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Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more A PAIR OF ARMCHAIRS SUPPLIED TO THE DUKE OF LEEDS
A PAIR OF QUEEN ANNE GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS

POSSIBLY BY PHILIP GUIBERT, CIRCA 1702-05

Details
A PAIR OF QUEEN ANNE GILTWOOD ARMCHAIRS
POSSIBLY BY PHILIP GUIBERT, CIRCA 1702-05
Each with elongated back with scrolled arms terminating in split volutes carved with foliate scrolls, supported by tapering squared uprights, on square seat supported on matching uprights, connected by a scrolling stretcher centered by flaming urn, the front legs ending in scrolled feet, covered in close-nailed green silk velvet, with minor variations to carved details consistent with individual carvers of a larger suite, one chair re-railed
58 ½ in. (148.5 cm.) high
Provenance
(For both chairs) Supplied to Sir Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds (1632-1712), almost certainly for Kiveton Hall, Yorkshire.
By descent to George Godolphin Osborne, 10th Duke of Leeds (1862-1927), by whom probably sold in the early 20th century.
One example:
Acquired either by Sir Julius Wernher 1st Bt. (1850-1912) or most probably by his son Sir Harold Wernher, 3rd Bt. (1893-1973).
Thence by descent at Luton Hoo until sold Christie’s, London, 5 July 2000, lot 70 (£86,250).
The other example:
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 17 November 1989, lot 31.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby’s, London, 22 April 1994, lot 41 (£49,900).
(For both chairs)The Collection of Luis Virata.
Private collection, United Kingdom.
Literature
Luton Hoo Inventory, 1949, listed in the first floor corridor (for the Wernher chair)
Special notice

Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

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Lot Essay

These superb Queen Anne parade chairs, designed in the Louis XIV ‘antique’ or Roman fashion, give a tantalizing hint of the magnificence of court furnishings in early-eighteenth-century England.

DESIGN SOURCES
Their elaborately scrolling frames, richly carved stretchers and imposing high backs relate to contemporary chair patterns, such as that for a ‘grande chaise d’appartement’ invented by Thomas Laine, architect and sculptor to Louis XIV (illiustrated in P. Fuhring, ‘Late Seventeenth and early Eighteenth-century French designs of upholstered furniture’, Furniture History, 1989, pp. 42-44, fig. 7). The cross-stretcher, or cross-frame, was a new feature of chair design which first appeared in the 1690s, for instance on a chair supplied in 1694 by Thomas Roberts for Whitehall Palace, described as ‘one elbow chair carved rich made of a new fashion with a cross frame…’ (see A. Bowett, English Furniture 1660-1714 from Charles II to Queen Anne, Woodbridge, 2002, p. 242). Initially flat, these cross stretchers became increasingly elaborate, and the impressive classical urn centring the stretcher on these chairs relates to Pierre Lepautre’s vase-decked tables in his ‘Livres de Tables’ of the 1690s.

THE COMMISSION
These armchairs were supplied to Sir Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, who between 1699-1705 built a magnificent palace at Kiveton in Yorkshire. A number of sets of chairs are listed in the 1727 inventory of Kiveton Hall, among which the most likely match is a set in the ‘North East Bedchamber’ described as ’10 chairs wth Gilt frames, Cover’d and trimd Same as ye Bed, wth Green Serge Cases’ (see T. Murdoch ed., Noble Households, Eighteenth-Century Inventories of Great English House, A Tribute to John Cornforth, Cambridge, 2006, pp. 243-265)

A number of payments are recorded in the Duke’s accounts in 1702 to the court upholder Philip Guibert (spelled as ‘Mr. Hibbert’ in the accounts) and it is pertinent to note a pair of stools with closely related urn-topped cross stretchers in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (W.14-2009), supplied by Guibert in 1701 or 1702 to William III’s Little Bedchamber at Hampton Court Palace; the suite was later extended in 1703 for Queen Anne’s State Bedchamber at Kensington Court Palace.

Guibert was recorded on ‘St. German’s’ (Jermyn) Street in 1702, and it is interesting to note that the ‘Gentleman’s Upholsterer’ Thomas How was also based on Jermyn Street, who in 1710 supplied James Cecil, 5th Earl of Salisbury a suite for the state apartments at Hatfield House which included chairs with closely related stretchers and scrolling feet (see Bowett op. cit., p. 255).

Six other armchairs from the Leeds suite, together with two chairs extended to form a sofa, descended with the Earls Cadogan before being sold in 1956, and were subsequently acquired by the celebrated society figure Alexis, Baron de Redé (1922-2004) from whose collection in the Hôtel Lambert, Paris, they were sold at Sotheby’s, Paris, 7 March 2005, lot 7, and are now in a private English collection.

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